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Thoughts Plz - Tablet-School-Special Needs-long!

Discussion in 'Tablet PC' started by Melissa, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. Melissa

    Melissa Guest

    Our second-grader has cerebral palsy and limited hand
    function. We need a better solution for studying/learning
    than dictating and recording, and wonder if a tablet might
    be the answer.

    Garrett can use a joystick mouse and has used a fat pencil
    to reach a touch screen, but the applications are
    inadequate. As an elementary student he has lots of
    worksheets - fill in the blank, circle the correct answer,
    draw a line to . . . , compose a paragraph, spell words.
    He could use Journal to draw, circle, color. Could he use
    the keyboard to TYPE an answer? Maybe use the pen to note
    the beginning and then type? I'm looking for a way to scan
    worksheets and have him complete them using the pc, but if
    he has to fill in a blank, he'd need the keyboard as he
    doesn't have the motor control to write by hand. Of
    course we don't want anything too complicated or
    cumbersome or it won't be used, and ideally something that
    isn't laborious as it takes lots of effort on our little
    guy's part.

    The district won't help because if they recognize a need
    they'd be legally obligated to provide the equipment. We
    don't care, we'll buy it, but don't know what to buy! I
    would be so grateful for any feedback - including any
    other ideas to meet our son's needs. Thanks -
    Melissa
     
    Melissa, Aug 22, 2003
    #1
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  2. Melissa

    David Shih Guest

    Melissa,

    1. A typical tablet pc may be too delicate for a second
    grader. Perhaps a ToughBook by Panasonic:
    http://www.tabletpc2.com/Panasonic.htm

    2. The Journal program in Tabletpc has what's call a
    Journal Printer, which enables you to "print" anything
    that's printable (basically anything that can be
    displayed on the screen) to Journal so the user can
    annotate. It might be useful to you if you can convince
    the teachers to give out homeworks in electronic format,
    so that you don't have to scan them manually.

    3. Another option may come from Adobe Acrobat forms.
    Again, this will depend on how successfully you can
    convince the teachers to publish homeworks in electronic
    format (in this case, in Adobe Acrobat .pdf forms), but
    having a form format would grant you the ability to point
    and type.

    Hope this helps,

    David
     
    David Shih, Aug 22, 2003
    #2
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  3. Melissa

    Melissa Guest

    David - your response helps tremendously! Given your
    knowledge of tablets and the limited info I've provided,
    does it sound as if the tablet offers significant
    advantages over the regular notebook? Thanks again - I'm
    off to learn more about using Acrobat!
    Melissa
     
    Melissa, Aug 23, 2003
    #3
  4. Melissa

    John Whittle Guest

    I purchased my first tablet pc, a Gateway m 1300 this
    week. Looking for a Tech/knowledge article, I stumbled
    onto your question in this newsgroup. I would definately
    encourage you to explore this exciting possibility for
    your Son. I am using a stylus to create text using the
    tablet writing pad. My handwriting is fair, but not great.
    I usually type when I need to write, but am finding this
    to be a great approach to entering text. I have used a
    rollerball pen for many years, and must say the only thing
    I don't-like is the stylus. I find it to be too light and
    not thick enough.
    Adobe Acrobat's scan to Adobe and the Tablet input panel
    writing pad may well be an incredible tool for your son.
    Ihave a scanner and Adobe Acrobat Ver 6-0 and will do Some
    experimenting this weekend and would be happy to send
    along some notes to you-In the meantime, find your local
    Gateway Store and go play.
    I do not recommend a notebook DC (at least not the
    conventional type. The tablet seems to be much more
    adaptable to the needs of someone who has to be able to
    open a book or folder and be ready to work.
    One more idea-have you considered contacting Microsoft
    directly to ask for advice? they have a fairly strong user
    accessibility program and you may find there is already a
    strong enough user community to encourage the vendors to
    do what I perceive to be just a little work to create a
    viable option for your son and so many others.
    Good Luck!
     
    John Whittle, Aug 23, 2003
    #4
  5. Hello Melissa, It would seem to me that the biggest advantage for your son
    of a Tablet vs a notebook would be using a stylus to touch the screen where
    needed instead of moving a mouse. Rather than move a mouse, and mouse
    cursor, over a button and then clicking, for instance, one simply taps the
    button right on the screen with the stylus.
     
    Patty MacDuffie, Aug 25, 2003
    #5
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